Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Theodicy and evolution

The notion of theodicy has been one of the most debated and discussed topics in Christianity for centuries. Here's the Wiki-definition:

Theodicy ( /θiːˈɒdɪsi/ from Greek theos - "god" + dike - "justice") is a theological or philosophical study which attempts to justify God’s intrinsic nature of omni-benevolence (all loving), omniscience (all knowing) and omnipotence (all powerful), despite the existence of evil which would otherwise stand to refute God's existence.

One of the simplest ways of reconciling this problem is to recognise that God has given us freedom. We have a choice in how we act and the choices we make have consequences. We can bring joy or sorrow, so you could say that suffering is the cost of freedom.

This is quite a straightforward concept when we are thinking about human action, but what about nature?

Nature has its own freedom. The laws are set and from then on the consequences are what they are. Tectonic plates move according to the laws of physics. In doing so they release minerals into the biosphere and help produce fertile ground. They are also the source of earthquakes, volcanoes and subsequent devastation.

Evolution helps us understand this natural freedom as applied to biology. Life parades a spectrum that befits its freedom of expression, from the beautiful forms on the wings of a butterfly, to the venomous poisons of the bite of a snake.

The philosophical question is why is this freedom so important?

No comments:

Post a Comment